The OnePlus Nord is the newest smartphone from OnePlus, marking the company’s return to its roots as a maker of low-cost handsets that still sport the kind of features you’d find in a flagship. But OnePlus Nord is more than just a phone —Nord is actually a product line of affordable devices that pack in premium capabilities.
OnePlus has yet to reveal the Nord phone or other devices that will make up the Nord family, But its recent “New Beginnings” short documentary was a statement of intent from the company that it hasn’t forgotten its origin story.
OnePlus Nord: Leaked specs
Release date: July 2020
Price: Under $500
Screen size: 6.4 inches (90Hz)
CPU: Snapdragon 765G chipset
Cameras: Three rear, two front
Battery: 4,000 mAh
Recent releases, like the OnePlus 8 Pro, certainly deliver on great specs and performance, but it’s on the pricey side at $899. Even the $699 OnePlus 8 is more expensive than many other OnePlus models.
So how does a company keep adding premium features without totally ignoring the segment of smartphone shoppers first drawn to OnePlus in the first place? Based on what we’ve seen so far from the OnePlus Nord — which at one point had been rumored as the OnePlus Z — OnePlus plans to hold the line on price, even if it means fewer fancier features than some of its recent flagship devices.
OnePlus has suggested that more details about the OnePlus Nord are coming this week, but there’s plenty of info already out there. Here’s everything you need to know about the OnePlus Nord, including its expected release date, price and specs.
OnePlus Nord latest news (Updated July 6)
OnePlus Nord release date and pre-orders
We’ll likely hear more about the OnePlus Nord on July 7, as that’s when the documentary (see below) suggested OnePlus fans check back with the OnePlusLiteZThing Instagram account where footage of the Nord just debuted.
We would expect to get a proper look at the OnePlus Nord phone and how it will deliver an affordable handset that still retains some of the features that made the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro desirable phones. But there is the possibility that this is another teaser paving the way for a launch later this month.
Boosting that theory is a tweet from phone leaker Ishan Agarwal, who’s had some scoops on OnePlus phones in the past. That tweet — since deleted but captured by XDA Developers — says that the OnePlus Nord launches July 21.
In addition to hearing more about the phone’s features, we’d expect OnePlus to tell us when the OnePlus Nord will be available. We’re also eager to see which countries will be able to buy the new phone. Furthermore, we’d also expect to hear more about potential products that will build out the Nord family.
Even though the Nord isn’t shipping yet, OnePlus has commenced pre-order drops. The first one happened July 1, was limited to 100 units and immediately sold out. The second is due for July 8, and may be similarly exclusive. Hopefully, by then, we’ll have a clearer picture of when interested shoppers can reserve their unit without needing to be quick on the draw.
OnePlus Nord price
According to OnePlus’ own OnePlus Nord reveal on its ‘onepluszlitething’ Instagram account, the OnePlus Nord will have a price that’s under $500 (£410, AU$730). The company has also confirmed a sub-$500 price in an interview with TechRadar.
Earlier this year, a OnePlus 8 Lite leak from an online retailer called GizTop showed off specs and prices for OnePlus’ upcoming phones. The OnePlus 8 Lite was listed at $499, which would certainly fit into the price range OnePlus has talked about. If true, that would place the OnePlus Nord at $200 less than the OnePlus 8.
OnePlus Nord: Is it coming to the US?
After hinting of a new phone earlier in June, OnePlus and CEO Pete Lau has had a lot more to say about the OnePlus Nord. Lau posted a message to OnePlus’ own forums, explaining how the company arrived at the idea of returning to its roots and building a new affordable handset.
“I’m very excited to announce that we are bringing the premium, flagship experience that you’ve come to expect from OnePlus to a new, more affordable smartphone product line,” Lau’s post reads.
Lau went onto say that it will start “relatively small” with this new device, by launching it in Europe and India first. However, Lau also said that eventually, affordable OnePlus handsets will make their way to North America as well. We don’t know whether that means the OnePlus Nord will be the phone to launch in the US after its debut in Europe and India or if OnePlus has a different low-cost phone in mind for this country.
However, OnePlus did say that when the Nord phone does arrive in the US, it will be only available through a “highly limited” beta program made available after its launch. As such, you might find it very difficult to get a Nord phone in North America.
OnePlus Nord design and display
We’d expect the OnePlus Nord to look a lot like the OnePlus 8 lineup debuted, but it won’t be as premium. Rumors point to the OnePlus 8 Lite sporting a 6.4-inch panel. While that’s smaller than the 6.55-inch screen on the OnePlus 8, it’s still plenty big for most people. You can also expect a 90Hz refresh rate for the screen.
The most recent OnePlus Nord teaser video on Instagram briefly shows both the front and back of the handset. The back houses a vertical camera array in a narrow strip and a gray/blue color with the OnePlus logo at the bottom of the handset.
The front appears to show a cutout for two selfie cameras, as has been rumored. And the right side of the OnePlus Nord houses the power button, volume rocker and the alert switch.
TrueTech has posted a photo that reportedly shows off the OnePlus Z as it was called at the time, and if it’s accurate, it gives us an ideal of how this budget phone might differ from the OnePlus 8 lineup. For starters, the screen is flat, not curved as it is on the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. The front camera cutout is now in the top center of the display instead of in the left corner, and the bezels seem a little bit more noticeable.
The OnePlus Nord launch video contains a clue as to what the phone might look like. Halfway through the video, we see a OnePlus employee holding a phone that fits the description of the Nord, since it has the dual front cameras that have been rumored for the handset. This could be an early prototype and the final design could differ, but it suggests the direction OnePlus might be headed in with this phone.
OnePlus Nord specs
The OnePlus Nord is confirmed to have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G system-on-a-chip. That’s a mid-range chip sitting below the Snapdragon 865, but it still promises solid performance for most smartphone tasks, as well as 5G connectivity.
Opting fo this chip would allow the OnePlus Nord to join the ranks of 5G phones that cost less than $600, which is expected to grow as 2020 goes on.
If you want more evidence as to what processor the OnePlus Nord will use, leaked benchmarks show the phone powered by the Snapdragon 765G and 12GB of RAM. As you’d expect, the multicore result of 1,995 for the rumored OnePlus Nord can’t keep up with Snapdragon 865-powered phones, but it outpaces other midrange Android devices.
A new list of specs, supplied by a survey on Indian shopping forum DesiDime, lends further credibility to the claim that the OnePlus Z will feature a Snapdragon 765 chipset. However, the listed RAM and storage allotment is 6GB and 128GB, respectively, which seems more realistic for an entry-level model than the earlier 12GB figure. It’s also suggested the device will feature a 90Hz display and 4,300-mAh battery with 30-watt Warp Charging, which is in line with the OnePlus 8.
OnePlus Nord cameras
Lingering OnePlus 8 Nord rumors have the phone getting multiple rear cameras. Some rumor mongers have suggested the OnePlus Nord might have a similar camera setup to the OnePlus 8, which blends a 48MP main camera with a 16MP ultra wide-angle shooter and 2MP macro lens.
While recently leaked OnePlus Nord specs point to a triple lens setup with 64MP, 16MP and 2MP cameras, leaker Max J. appears to be teasing a quad camera setup for the OnePlus Nord. We’re skeptical about that claim, given that this is supposed to be a budget phone, but don’t rule out OnePlus’ ability to squeeze more of its hardware.
pic.twitter.com/nvQBMV1pryJune 15, 2020
We have more concrete details about the front cameras on the OnePlus Nord — and yes, we mean “cameras.” Based on an inside source, Android Central reports that the OnePlus Nord will feature two front cameras — a 32MP main sensor and an 8MP wide angle lens.
OnePlus Nord battery and charging
OnePlus has been increasing the size of the batteries powering its smartphones as of late, in part because of the extra power 5G connectivity requires. The OnePlus Nord could see a 4,000 mAh battery, which wouldn’t be as big as the 4,300 mAh power pack in the OnePlus 8, while still giving you enough charge to theoretically get through the day.
We would expect OnePlus’ budget phone to still include the company’s Warp Charge 30T technology for faster charging. However, we would not expect wireless charging, which for now is limited to the premium OnePlus 8 Pro.
OnePlus Nord outlook
We now know quite a bit about the OnePlus Nord, from its front cameras to the processor that’s likely to power the device. Still, there are some details that need to be filled in. And we’re eager to find out if the US is part of OnePlus’ long-term plans for the Nord.
Still, it sounds like the focus this time will be on price — and that’s a good thing. We know that OnePlus can pack a lot of features into a phone. The OnePlus Nord should remind us of the company’s ability to do that without driving up the phone’s cost.
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